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Sunday, July 25, 2010

Mike Smith

MIKE SMITH: SMITH’S WORLD


Since the night she won the Republican nomination to take on Harry Reid for US Senate, Angle has minimized and avoided meeting with local reporters who might ask about local and state issues. That night, and since, she takes well orchestrated and arranged interview only with national, and mostly with conservative media. Among her political advisors is former George W Bush campaign master and Fox commentator, Carl Rove.


Someone should tell her the meaning of "news conference", as she has called several and left without taking or answering a single question. They were media addresses not news conferences. Is that is the open government we want for Nevada or the US?

‘Glee’ to do ‘Rocky Horror’ episode



A "Rocky Horror Picture Show" episode was the biggest news coming out of the "Glee" panel.
After first-time Emmy nominee Chris Colfer mentioned he wanted to do "The Time Warp" in the new season, co-creator Ryan Murphy revealed that he and the writers were currently working on it.
More Season 2 storylines were revealed after a 20-minute highlight reel was shown, including more focus on the series' central characters. "The next season will be more intimate," Murphy said.

 
"Those characters pop so much that I want to see a whole episode of Brittany, a whole episode of Artie and Tina," he said early in the session, adding that there will be more tribute episodes.
When discussing the highly publicized Britney Spears episode, Murphy said that Matthew Morrison's Will Schuester would be highly against doing Britney songs because Morrison said once that he didn't want to sing her tunes on the show.
"We're doing it in a fun, hallucinogenic way," Murphy teased.
Another spoiler got the crowd and panelists going: "We find out that Tina has fallen out of love with Artie and in love with Mike Chang (aka Other Asian)," Murphy revealed.
Season 2 will also see Mercedes at her church (a solo is almost guaranteed) and Kurt will be attending as well in a religion-themed hour.
In addition to Kristin Chenoweth returning, Broadway vet Idina Menzel will be coming back.
Plans for the post-Super Bowl episode are in the works, but Murphy promises something big. "Nothing says Super Bowl like 'Glee,' " he joked. "We're in talks to do a huge tribute episode but the deal hasn't closed yet so I can't say."
Playing to the crowd, it was revealed that the writers are discussing a Brittany and Santana kiss.
Murphy got an idea from a fan, who suggested the gang spotlight 

Sunday Morning News and Views

Here I sit, on Sunday mornings as usual, secure in the knowledge that my NPR addicted daughter Ann and her Canadian husband Colin are listening to NPR, but not to me, as she admits she goes to Sirius Radio or Internet feeds over the Nevada affiliate I spend 8 to 12 hours at every Sunday, and voice 18 hours of announcer/host duties.

This is the new media generation. And they are in their 30’s, younger “listeners” tune in to only the segments they wish to hear, sampling as they do with music or the increasingly shorter webisodes that are slowly eroding broadcast television and video rentals.

The BBC, as part of a continuing series, looked into the shift to “journalism of preference”, where we seek out only what we are interested in and often only what we agree with, and its impact on society. Are we encouraging polarization and a lack of two-way discourse leading to intelligent compromise? Are we, in discovering the bold new world of “people’s journalism” and what seems to be almost unlimited sources of information, actually driving society toward future dictatorships and internal vocal or even physical wars, instead of freeing our souls to explore a diverse universe of truth exploration?

Talk of tea party leaders of putting the “right to bear arms” to use to “fight” a “socialist” government echoes without counter, at least by any source tea party activist would turn to, either in traditional or on-line media. Instead the right, and the progressives on the other side, here in America, seek out only arguments and slogans and causes that support what they already believe, and which in the case of a segment of the Tea Party and the right, to increased anger and talk of violence. Didn’t we learn out lessons in Oklahoma City?

“Legitimate” on-line journalists say they are reporting what the reporters talk about and know but are unable to print or broadcast.

There is precedence. In 1976 the late Daniel Schorr, who passed away this week, was fired from CBS News for “leaking” a story CBS refused to air, to the “Village Voice”, which printed the document as a special session and made international news. The release of classified government documents showing that the CIA has and planed to do unsanctioned assassinations of world leaders and dissidents.  “The Village Voice” could be seen as the alternative that today the Internet has come to represent.

In my college sections I attempt to get students into the habit of researching and acknowledging both sides of a story, viewpoint, belief or idea. Often it feels like pulling teeth with a generation accustomed to using the Internet for “easy” answers that support their ideas when they first set out to “research” a topic. Too often “research” means finding information to support what they planned on saying in the first place, and often non-juried, non-academic sources at that.  This despite the reality that new media such as the Internet allow you to easily research all sides of an issue, belief, concept or idea. Students do what Tea Partiers and many others do in politics, seek out and understand only their own view and what supports their own ideas or views. As I mentioned the progressive left does the same thing, although experience has shown that they are less likely to ignore the other side when they do research.

An interesting side topic to investigate is which side is more educated and what constitutes education. My research shows that both are educated, with conservative more likely to have a linier education background and the far left more likely an arts or more diverse academic (meaning investigative) background.

NPR named its primary broadcast studio in Washington DC the “Daniel Schorr” studio in honor of the newsman of over 60 years Daniel Schorr, who passed away at the age of 93 this past week. He was on Nixon’s short list of “enemies”, the only journalist, coming in at number 17. Schorr discovered he was on the list while reading it on the air live on CBS Radio. He did not flinch or adlib… you would think he was writing about someone else. He met and covered four US wars and several “police actions” or “incidents.” He met and interviewed over a half century of world leaders, artists, newsmakers and politicians. He covered central and Eastern Europe for CBS, landing the first US live television interview of Soviet Premiere Nikita Krustov (1957). He was the first on the air person hired by Ted Turner for his new untried network, CNN. Washington DC had no cable at that time, so Turner had a large satellite dish installed, because Turner believed Schorr’s family should see what he was doing for a living. Schorr’s commentaries carried the power of history, perspective and his lack of fear on stating what he believed to be true. After CNN he began a 27-year career with National Public Radio, taking the job at age 67. In December 2000 his commentary on NPR referred to a Supreme Court presidential coup, with five conservative members of the court ending recounts in Florida, and in doing so put their conservative president into the White House over the man who earned the most votes and could have still won the Electoral College with the Florida recount and challenges.

The recession has driven many storefront restaurants out of business. It has also fueled a boom in “street carts”, those vendors who sell out of push cart steamers or make shift displays, and portable truck based “gourmet” restaurants. Laws in many urban areas (including Chicago, the Las Vegas Strip and Freemont Street Experience) severely limit the practice and raise the sales level needed to be profitable above what mom and pop vendors to operate.

CBS Sunday Morning called us a “gaudy desert town”…meaning Las Vegas.

President Barrack Obama urged liberal bloggers and activist “to keep up the fight” to bring change to Washington. He acknowledged to the Netroots Nation Convention that liberal and progressive supporters are disappointed at the pace of change, but indicated that change takes time and urged the group to “keep making your voices heard. US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was also at the convention. At a different venue his opponent, conservative Republican nominee for senate Sharon Angle urged conservative bloggers to keep pushing for change, however the Tea Party candidate’s definition of what that entails is quite different from Obama and Reid.

Once again Angle’s message was limited to the prepared Carl Rove script and promised interviews with local media were not kept. KLAS TV 8 said, “She was whisked away despite a promise to meet with us.”

Meanwhile Harry Reid did interviews, saying that blogs have created a healthy debate and a wide variety or conservative and liberal voices. He said any effort to promote discourse and support America is positive regardless of which end of the political spectrum you may identify with.

But Internet blogging, YouTube and social networking may not win campaigns. Despite strong campaigns and national attention, at least nine candidates in recent primaries went down in defeat, on both sides of the spectrum.

Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman has endorsed Harry Reid for reelection to the US Senate. Goodman pointed to numerous high profile projects Reid helped jump start, including the downtown transportation center, the Smith Center for the Performing Arts, the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health and the new City Hall. Goodman, who when he was a mob attorney was often the direct enemy of Reid, when Reid was the strong anti-mob Chairman of the Nevada Gaming Commission, now says that Reid has been one of the strongest supporters of Las Vegas projects, jobs and tourism. Reid is doing the job.

Northeastern University studied tweets and Internet communications between September 2006 and August 2009. They found that America is growing pessimistic, using stronger language and becoming increasingly aggressive in the use of fight rather then compromise language. Tweets were gloomiest on Thursday evenings, after the first our days of the traditional work week ad cheeriest on Sunday mornings, a morning of family and worship for many Americans.

Unless the courts block it, Arizona’s controversial immigration law is set to take effect next weekend. The state is divided in heated debate and demonstrations driven by deep cuts in state budget and the high cost of providing state services to undocumented immigrants. Meanwhile, Arizona is a highly Hispanic state, where the fear of racial profiling is not just an academic discussion.

The Taliban are holding an America Sailor hostage, one of two ambushed by the Taliban. The other was said to be killed, however the body is still in Taliban hands in Afghanistan.

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff believes that the Taliban have murdered over 45 people over the past two weeks alone. Admiral Mike Mullin predicts rising levels of violence over the coming months.

Bush Administration CIA Director Hayden says that military action against Iran is likely regardless of diplomatic efforts. The former CIA Chief told CNN that military action “seems inexorable”. Even if Iran builds its program to a point just below the potential of a nuclear weapon, the very process will be “destabilizing” to the region. If the US does not take action, we may not be able to stop our allies from doing so to avoid the potential of weapons being built and used.

The US and South Korea are doing joint military exercises led by the Supercarrier the USS George Washington, involving 20 ships, supported by submarines, aircraft helicopters and a combined 8,000 troops. North Korea is threatening a military response, saying the escalation by the US could lead to nuclear war. The exercise is meant to send a strong message to the north that “its aggressive behavior must stop” following the torpedo sinking of a South Korean warship earlier this year.

Ten years ago today a Concord Supersonic jet crashed on take off from the Paris airport, killing 109 on board ad 4 people on he ground. The plane could fly twice the speed of sound. It was decommissioned in 2003.

Journalists have become prime targets in wars, and in political attacks. This morning in Serbia Vreme Weekly columnist Teofil Pancic was attached with an iron bar and kidnapped because of his liberal stand and fierce criticism or Serbian nationalism.

Are we in a post-racial era? Or are we entering an era or hyper-sensativity and division on the subject of race? Thanks to FOX news and White House overreaction, the issue has been at the forefront of the news for over a week, along with the issue of taking things out of context, digging back years or decades, not allowing people to evolve or change and presenting information to advance your own views or cause without regard for fact, context or the damage it might cause to others. Simply getting these out on the table this morning, as the topics were covered this AM by the BBC, NPR, NBC and CBS news.

Amazon last quarter sold more digital than hard covers, and almost twice twice as many digital books as hardcover’s during recent weeks. Could this be the end of the tactile enjoyment of reading a good hard cover novel, and will it someday soon impact less expensive paperback sales? Amazon can be read on the Kindle, Sony Readers and iPads. Sales of Kindles has doubled since the price was lowered to under the two hunded dollar level.

British Petroleum Chief Executive Tony Hayward is reported to be stepping down, some say forced out, from BP. The Board of Directors meets tomorrow in London.

Zaza Gabor remains in critical condition following a hip replacement. The glamour star is 94 years old.

The largest gathering of boy scouts since 1937 will parade today in Washington DC celebrating the 100th anniversary of the organization. The 1937 event was the first national Boy Scout Jamboree, held at the National Mall.